It’s so tempting to see the confident smiles revealing white teeth – and to go for a quick fix over the counter or online option. But how do you know your teeth are ready for the treatment? As with so many things worth having, the groundwork has to be done so that you know the treatment will work for you.
The only people who can tell you are dentists. Your dentist will first examine your mouth to make sure there is no existing condition which will either prevent the whitening or which needs treatment prior to whitening. If you don’t have this check, you could be wasting your money or even doing yourself harm.
Whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide, the type of bleach used to lighten hair, only in a different strength. The chemical bleaches the surface of the teeth. Dentists can use up to 6% hydrogen peroxide, whereas if you buy over the counter, the maximum strength you will have is 0.1%. It stands to reason that the product dentists use is more effective.
Don’t be tempted by stronger products available online because these can damage your teeth and gums. Many are not regulated and may cause irreversible damage. Also your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that the trays which contain the whitening gel are custom-made for you. This means that they fit properly around your teeth so that there is no leakage on the gel onto your gums or into your mouth.
Your dentist will give you clear instructions on how to use your trays and gel in your own home and will support you through the process. You will have the chance to see the range of shades and to decide just how white you want your teeth to be.
So – if you want safe, professional whitening, using highly regulated products alongside professional support and guidance, then your dentist is the only option